Matt Hancock has opened up about what goes on behind closed doors in Parliament as he explained how a cabinet reshuffle works while on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!
On Thursday’s episode of the reality show, the former health secretary was questioned by fellow campmate and radio DJ Chris Moyles about the inner workings of Westminster and how an MP can move between cabinet offices without prior experience in the area.
Hancock is currently the MP for West Suffolk and has faced criticism from opposition politicians, from within his own party and had the Tory whip suspended for joining the reality show at a time when Parliament is sitting.
After Moyles asked how the process of a cabinet reshuffle works, Hancock said: “I’ll tell you exactly what happens. It’s reshuffle day and the first thing the Prime Minister does is call the people who he or she is going to fire and invites them into the office in the House of Commons.
“That way the cameras can’t see them coming and going. Face-to-face. These are very sensitive conversations.
“Then they go into Downing Street and they call people in in order of seniority. They have a whiteboard with all of the cabinet positions on it and they go from senior down.
“Sometimes people say, ‘No, I don’t want to be Defence Secretary, I’d take Transport’ and it is literally a reshuffle as in they’re moving names across this whiteboard.”
The radio DJ asked if a MP would get more money for taking on a cabinet position, which Hancock confirmed they would if they were appointed into government, clarifying that meant they would now hold two jobs.
Moyles continued, asking: “But how many MPs have got quite a decent knowledge of defence?”
Hancock replied: “The job of the minister is not to be the subject matter expert. Of course, you need to get to grips with the subject matter, but that is only half the job.
“There’s a load of transferable skills – handling parliament, communicating with the public, taking decisions effectively – and then you have the subject matter experts who advise you on it all.”
Later in the Bush Telegraph, Hancock said he had the found the conversation “really enjoyable” while Moyles appeared to become more skeptical of the reshuffle process.
He said: “I’m starting to think now, to be Minister of Transport, all you need is a car. And to be Minister of Health all you need is to be breathing.”
The radio presenter added: “Fascinating talking to him, however, he has no interest in me, my life, my job. He’s a funny little fish, isn’t he?”
Elsewhere in the episode, Moyles and Owen Warner teamed up to take on The Savage Sorting Office Busktucker Trial.
Having had a number of low-scoring performances in the past, Moyles was keen to improve his record and put himself forward for the challenge.
The pair were tasked with sorting through mail to find the coveted golden stars but Warner found himself suspended from a crane in a harness while Moyles had to operate the crane blindfolded and received electric shocks every 30 seconds.
Warner had to search through mud crabs, eels, snakes and rats to find the stars but he kept missing throwing them into a postbox, which was how they would secure a point.
They returned to camp having only won one star out of a possible six with Warner taking full blame for their poor result, later saying in the Bush Telegraph: “I can’t help but beat myself up a lot. I’m so hungry and I wanted to bring back good news and I can’t.”
However, Hancock, Mike Tindall and Seann Walsh had more success when they were given a night-time challenge with the chance of winning a fry up for camp the next morning.
The trio had to work together to assemble various food items including piping ‘Happy Birthday Kev’ on a cake and making up hot dogs with items which were seperated from them via a screen.
The team managed to pass quality control and return home triumphant having won breakfast for camp.
I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! continues on Friday at 9.15pm on ITV1 and ITV Hub